Let me start off by saying if I was walking the halls of Convergence in New Orleans this week, I may have a somewhat more generous point of view. But I am not there so catching up on what colleagues are reporting. And it just reinforces what I have felt for a few years – Microsoft’s always promising in the future what it should have already delivered. For a few years, it was internally focused digesting multiple acquisitions . But with that behind it, this week’s theme should be “ Enterprise innovation – delivered”, not “A world ahead”
I mean, with billions invested in the Azure cloud over the last few years, why are customers only now starting to see “hosted” versions from partners? With Microsoft putting so much emphasis on mobility and Surface, be nice for the enterprise apps to lead with those. With Microsoft’s search, database and other algorithmic expertise, where are the predictive, social sentiment, and other advanced analytics for the enterprise? With acquisitions like Yammer, and collaboration tools like Lync being rolled out, you would expect much more social emphasis in the enterprise apps.
Ray Wang reports progress on all the SMAC (social, mobile, analytical, cloud) fronts but it could be so much more coherent and market leading. With the experience Microsoft should have gained from eQuantive it acquired (and spun off) years ago and with its Bing and other exposure to CMOs, it should be leading in the exploding Marketing apps space. As Esteban Kolsky describes, the pieces are just coming together.
Microsoft lives with a (mostly) mid market customer base which is fairly content with “good enough” core ERP/SFA functionality, and a partner base, which while extremely loyal and developing vertical extensions (though if you look at the Expo listings for the event some partners unabashedly claim to service 40+ industries!) , is not exactly known for filing for countless patents or other breakthrough work.
Somehow, I always think of Jim Collins’ quote from his bestseller “Good is the enemy of Great” when I think of Microsoft’s Enterprise apps. In my eyes, they continue as a bit of an underachiever.
(Cross-posted @ DealArchitect Full)